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Nissan develops new technology that can ‘disable’ viruses

The technology was developed jointly with Tohoku University’s College of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Nissan announces that it has worked with the Tohoku University College of Pharmaceutical Sciences to develop a new technology that inactivates viruses.

According to the statement, the collaboration leverages “Nissan’s technologies and expertise in automotive development, and Tohoku University faculty’s technologies related to drug development, drug evaluation and other pharmaceutical sciences, preparation of Catalysts and Catalyst Performance Evaluation”.

In Nissan cars, radical catalysts prevent photodegradation reactions such as cracking, embrittlement and discoloration over long periods of time. The automaker has been researching and developing other uses for radical catalysts in an effort to make the most of their catalytic activity and further contribute to society.

In the case of viruses, radical catalysts inactivate viruses by oxidizing the organic compounds, or more specifically, inactivating the spike protein to prevent it from binding to a human cell.

The technology works on SARS-CoV2 (omicron strain), studies show. An alternative SARS-CoV2 virus, a feline coronavirus, was also tested and found to be effective. It also works in dark conditions at room temperature without the need for light irradiation, as is often the case with oxidation.

Furthermore, Nissan said that this technology can also inactivate pathogens such as fungi and bacteria. The company also sees a wide range of applications for such technology in the future. These include antibacterial and antiviral base materials in filters for air conditioners and air purifiers. They can also be used in masks and textiles used in hospitals.

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